Collections > Judaica > Rare Books

Rare Books

 Rare Books Collection

Rare BooksThe Library’s Rare Books department houses all its manuscripts, as well as early printed books from the 15th-16th centuries, special publications of which only a few copies remain in the world, limited editions, and so forth. The department includes thousands of Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts, a more modest collection of Latin manuscripts, and a small number of items (some of which are of great importance) in other alphabets, including Samaritan, Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopian and Cyrillic.
Hebrew titles account for most of the printed items in the collection, which includes copies of most of the known early Hebrew books. In some cases, our copy is the only one that has survived to modern times. Later printed works include books printed in Hebrew letters, including works in Arabic, Yiddish, Ladino, Persian, Tatar, and other languages. Printed works in Latin script are also represented, from the incunabula period through rare modern items. Alongside a considerable number of titles on themes relating to Jewish studies, these books also include fields such as science, history, and art, among others.
Another type of rare books are copies of books containing handwritten comments by important individuals. In addition, several hundred books include autographs or handwritten dedications, usually by their authors.
To order and view manuscripts please refer to Special Collections Reading Room.